Tall Ships® Brockville is the last port of call of the Tall Ships Challenge® Great Lakes Tour 2019 and is the culminating event during Brockville’s Big River Festival.
The Big River Festival is a week long celebration of our waterfront community with events happening at all of our waterfront attractions and throughout our parks. The Festival will be a celebration of life in the 1000 Islands on the mighty St. Lawrence River and all the attributes of living in a river city.
Preliminary Big River Festival Schedule:
Brockville Movies in the Park
August 22 & 29
A free, family-friendly outdoor movie screening series every Thursday night after sunset in Hardy Park. Enjoy a water-themed movie during the Big River Festival.
Guided Walking Tours with the Brockville Museum
August 22 & 23
Brockville Museum, 5 Henry Street
Brockville’s Criminal Past Walking Tours – Thursdays 3 p.m. & Fridays 7 p.m. (June 20 – August 23)
Explore Brockville’s criminal past on the Brockville Museum’s downtown walking tour. Hear some of the curious accounts from trials held at the local courthouse; learn about one of the largest bank heists in Canadian history, and discover exactly what happened to John Simpson’s skin, among other true stories.
Experienced and entertaining historical interpreters will be your hosts on this 90 minute journey. Tickets are only $8 per person and are available for purchase through SNAP’D tickets or in person at the Brockville Museum. Parental discretion is advised. All tours begin and end at the Museum (5 Henry Street, Brockville ON).
Historic Waterfront Walking Tours – Thursdays 7 p.m. & Fridays 3 p.m.( June 20 – August 23)
The St. Lawrence River has always held a special place in Brockville’s history. Once our industrial core, our shores have been transformed into the city’s recreational heart. Let one of the Brockville Museum’s entertaining and informed historical interpreters tell you some of the fascinating stories about our treasured waterfront.
Tours are approximately 90 minutes in length. Tickets are only $8 per person and are available for purchase through SNAP’D tickets or in person at the Brockville Museum. All tours begin and end at the Museum (5 Henry Street, Brockville ON).
Canine Watersports Canada: Canadian Dock Jumping Championships
Canine Watersports Canada is wet, wild, and most of all, wonderfully wholesome entertainment for every member of the family. A typical event features a dog-and-handler team atop a 36-foot dock, adjacent a 45-foot-long pool filled with water. Dogs fly through the air and land in the water with a dramatic—and occasionally audience-drenching—splash, after which the longest jumper is deemed the winner in several disciplines and divisions.
During the weekend, we will feature the Canadian Dock Jumping Championships, which highlights and reward those teams who have worked hard all season to become eligible to compete with the best in their division. Throughout the event we will be awarding the top 3 in each discipline, with beautiful jade maple leaf trophies, as well as rosettes. On Sunday we will be crowning CANADA’S 2019 ELITE CHAMPION – otherwise known as “the dog who can do it all”.
For those of you who would like to bring your dog to this event and give dock jumping a TRY, our dock will be open to you at specific times throughout the entire weekend!
Take a walk along the waterfront with your best friend and stop at The Roost Cafe and Creamery for “doggie ice cream”!
Brockville Farmers’ Market
August 24, 29, 31 & Sept 1
Market Street West
Locally grown produce and meats, local honey and maple syrup, local arts and crafts, home decor, clothing and more. Proud to offer 100% local produce!
Brockville Ghost Walks
August 26th from 7pm-9pm
Market Street West
Get to know Brockville’s haunted past (and present) during our ghost walks, hosted by Brockville Tourism. Walk through downtown hearing about the spirits that call Brockville home every Monday through the summer. Be sure to wear comfortable shoes!
Tickets are $10 each and are available at the Brockville Tourism office and through EventBrite.
Enjoy a special twist to the weekly ghost walk with a river theme – learn a few shipwreck stories and explore more of the waterfront with this Big River Ghost Walk.
Big River Night on Blockhouse Island
August 27th from 5:30-7:30pm
Tunnel Plaza on Blockhouse Island Parkway
Enjoy a free, family-friendly evening of entertainment to celebrate our beautiful waterfront. Live performers as well as kids activities and face painters outside of the tunnel entrance will entertain, and demonstrations on the river from local clubs will showcase what we love about being a river city.
Please check back for details.
Live Music at the Waterfront
August 28th 4pm-7pm
Fat Les Waterfront Patio, 30 Blockhouse Island Parkway
Stop by the waterfront for drinks, dinner, and ice cream at the Waterfront Patio with live music on the patio. Check back for band details!
Elvis – The Concert: starring Pete Paquette
August 28th at 8pm
August 29th at 2pm & 8pm
Brockville Arts Centre, 235 King Street West
With his live band, Pete Paquette stars in “The Elvis Concert”, an unforgettable live concert experience showcasing the musical career of Elvis Presley: the 1950s, Elvis in Leather, and the explosive Vegas years.
Aquatarium After Dark with Yuk Yuks
The Aquatarium at Tall Ships Landing, 6 Broad Street
Details TDB – please check back. Enjoy the Aquatarium after hours with a beverage in hand, the starry night experience when we turn the pilot house into a planetarium, 60 year old footage of the opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway and more!
Red Hot & Blue Rockabilly Weekend
August 30-Sept 2
Blockhouse Island Parkway, Brockville Legion, and sites around Downtown Brockville
4 days of non-stop music; 21 bands; 8 top DJs; Rock’n’Roll dance party and Prom Night at the Legion; free jive dance classes; outdoor vintage market and antique car meet-up; boat cruise and more!
Shootout Fishing League – Solo Series
August 31 & September 1
Shootout Fishing League will run a professional bass tournament on Saturday August 31 and Sunday September 1. The bass boats will take off from Hardy Park starting at around 7am, with weigh in at 3:30pm in Hardy Park.
In addition a Kid’s Derby will be run and entrants will have a free hot dog lunch and prizes. Volunteers are needed to ride in boats in our competing anglers – this is a great opportunity to fish with the pros!
Brockville Tall Ships® Festival presented by Procter & Gamble
August 30-Sept 1. Festival grounds open at 2pm on Friday, August 30th
Brockville waterfront: Blockhouse Island Parkway, Centeen Park, Hardy Park
In 2019 the Tall Ships Festival is taking place for the final weekend of Big River Festival, and although this component will vary annually. Brockville will still proceed with TSCO every three years, but in off years would include our resident tall ships, The Fair Jeanne and Black Jack at the Big River Festival and bring in one other Tall Ship each year (dependent on grants).
Please review our Frequently Asked Questions page for details on our 2019 festival and more specifics about where and when you can see the ships. Please note that deck tours of the ships will be available on Saturday and Sunday only.
Please also visit our ticket page to purchase tickets to activities and events on site during the festival as well as admission wristbands.
Activities in the works at the Big River Festival:
Water Jousting (TBD)
A key component and a North American first will be the water jousting on retrofitted whaler boats. This unique sport is the subject of festivals in France and other parts of Europe where it attracts tens of thousands. Brockville is thrilled to have this opportunity to showcase a unique water sport that will be sure to be a fan favourite.
Sunset Cocktails on Refugee Island (TBD)
Enjoy a cocktail as the sun sets on Refugee Island (one of Brockville’s municipally owned islands, found just off shore)
Live Streamed Tour of the Brockville Underwater Sculpture Park (TBD)
Live feed of an underwater performance in the St. Lawrence River – watch inside the theatre at the Aquatarium.
Hands on adventure sails with Brockville’s own tall ships: Fair Jeanne and Black Jack! Sign up for a tall ship adventure or stop by their activity zone outside of the Aquatarium during the Tall Ships® Festival.
Guided Kayak Tour to the Islands (TBD)
with Dive Brockville Adventure Centre
Add these attractions to your Big River Festival visit:
The Aquatarium at Tall Ships Brockville
Visit our signature attraction: the discovery centre of the 1000 Islands. Special events and activities, including after hours events to be held during the Big River Festival.
The Brockville Railway Tunnel
Visit Canada’s First Railway Tunnel, open daily from 9am-9pm. Walk over half a kilometre through this man-made, underground tunnel and see it’s unique architectural features and natural geological features. All set to a light and sound show you don’t want to miss!
Can you escape the freight? Try out this escape room set in the old caboose at the waterfront outside of the railway tunnel’s south entrance. Show your tall ships festival passport and save on your escape experience!